Once the restoration has taken place, it is time to take the AGA back to it’s owner and install it. This requires quite a lot of logistical planning before we set off on the journey.
The AGA, ready to be installed weighs in at between 500 kilograms to 750 kilograms, depending on whether it is a 2 oven or a 4 oven AGA. Then there is the question of the chimney pipes and the H-cowl which sits on top of the chimney. We don’t construct chimneys, nor do we cut holes in your ceilings, as we are a bit long in the tooth for such work, so there is usually liasion between a builder and ourselves to get this part done.
In the photograph on the left you can see a stove loaded onto the trailer ready for it’s new home. In this case the stove has been loaded without the kieselguhr packing to make the installation a bit easier. One can see the sacks of this substance, otherwise known as diatomaceous earth, packed behind the stove, ready to be poured into the stove once it is in position. Emmie does these restorations for owners all over South Africa, and sometimes does up to three trips to Cape Town and back from her home in Camperdown, KwaZulu-Natal a year. This is a distance of 1581 kilometres in one direction, and with the tremendous load, the journey takes almost three days if we are lucky and don’t have roadworks or bad weather.
In the photograph on the right the AGA has been moved into position and unwrapped, kieselguhr added, and the chimney has been set up by the builder.
These particular owners were thrilled with their ‘new’ stove and a few months later, once they had started it up we received news that they had “never had food that tasted so good”, and if we were in the area again to pop in and see how they were enjoying their AGA.
There is a slow movement here in South Africa to return to this type of stove, mainly due to the ever rising costs and tenuous supply of electricity and the bad quality and unavailability of gas. Farmers here are in very remote areas in the Orange Free Sate and in the Cape/Karoo area. There is the added problem of bitterly cold conditions, and this is where the AGA shines. The construction of the stove creates radiant heat within itself, which it then exudes to the rest of the room in which it is situated. Many a farmer and his trusty sheepdog have spent the night curled up in front of this magnificent feat of engineering.